Sociolinguistics Basics Language is basic to social interactions, affecting them and being affected by them. Connie Eble of the University of North Carolina explains how the field of sociolinguistics analyzes the many ways in which language and society intersect. Sociolinguistics is the study of how language serves and is shaped by the social nature of human beings.
Applications[ edit ] For example, a sociolinguist might determine through study of social attitudes that a particular vernacular would not be considered appropriate language use in a business or professional setting. Sociolinguists might also study the grammarphoneticsvocabularyand other aspects of this sociolect much as dialectologists would study the same for a regional dialect.
The study of language variation is concerned with social constraints determining language in its contextual environment. Code-switching is the term given to the use of different varieties of language in different social situations. William Labov is often regarded as the founder of the study of sociolinguistics.
He is especially noted for introducing the quantitative study of language variation and change,  making the sociology of language into a scientific discipline.
Traditional sociolinguistic interview[ edit ] Sociolinguistic interviews are an integral part of collecting data for sociolinguistic studies. There is an interviewer, who is conducting the study, and a subject, or informantwho is the interviewee.
In order to get a grasp on a specific Linguistics and sociolinguistics form and how it is used in the dialect of the subject, a variety of methods are used to elicit certain registers of speech. There are five different styles, ranging from formal to casual.
The most formal style would be elicited by having the subject read a list of minimal pairs MP.
Minimal pairs are pairs of words that differ in only one phoneme, such as cat and bat. Having the subject read a word list WL will elicit a formal register, but generally not as formal as MP.
The reading passage RP style is next down on the formal register, and the interview style IS is when an interviewer can finally get into eliciting a more casual speech from the subject.
During the IS the interviewer can converse with the subject and try to draw out of them an even more casual sort of speech by asking him to recall childhood memories or maybe a near death experience, in which case the subject will get deeply involved with the story since strong emotions are often attached to these memories.
Of course, the most sought-after type of speech is the casual style CS. This type of speech is difficult if not impossible to elicit because of the Observer's Paradox. The closest one might come to CS in an interview is when the subject is interrupted by a close friend or family member, or perhaps must answer the phone.
CS is used in a completely unmonitored environment where the subject feels most comfortable and will use their natural vernacular without overtly thinking about it.
Fundamental concepts[ edit ] While the study of sociolinguistics is very broad, there are a few fundamental concepts on which many sociolinguistic inquiries depend.
Speech community Speech community is a concept in sociolinguistics that describes a distinct group of people who use language in a unique and mutually accepted way among themselves.
This is sometimes referred to as a Sprechbund. To be considered part of a speech community, one must have a communicative competence. That is, the speaker has the ability to use language in a way that is appropriate in the given situation.
It is possible for a speaker to be communicatively competent in more than one language. Members of speech communities will often develop slang or jargon to serve the group's special purposes and priorities.
Community of Practice allows for sociolinguistics to examine the relationship between socialization, competence, and identity. Since identity is a very complex structure, studying language socialization is a means to examine the micro-interactional level of practical activity everyday activities.
The learning of a language is greatly influenced by family but it is supported by the larger local surroundings, such as school, sports teams, or religion. Speech communities may exist within a larger community of practice.
Prestige sociolinguistics Crucial to sociolinguistic analysis is the concept of prestige; certain speech habits are assigned a positive or a negative value, which is then applied to the speaker. This can operate on many levels.
An important implication of the sociolinguistic theory is that speakers 'choose' a variety when making a speech act, whether consciously or subconsciously.
The terms acrolectal high and basilectal low are also used to distinguish between a more standard dialect and a dialect of less prestige.
A social network is another way of describing a particular speech community in terms of relations between individual members in a community. A network could be loose or tight depending on how members interact with each other. A multiplex community is one in which members have multiple relationships with each other.
The looseness or tightness of a social network may affect speech patterns adopted by a speaker. Recently, social networks have been formed by the Internet, through chat rooms, Facebook groups, organizations, and online dating services.
Differences according to class[ edit ] Further information:Linguistics is a broad discipline that includes Sociolinguistics, besides Psycholinguistics and a host of others. However, they both differ in their approach. Linguistics studies all human languages in terms of language only, without invoking any other criterion, or yardstick to evaluate the findings.
Linguistics - Sociolinguistics: Just as it is difficult to draw the boundary between linguistics and psycholinguistics and between psychology and psycholinguistics, so it is difficult to distinguish sharply between linguistics and sociolinguistics and between sociolinguistics and sociology.
There is the further difficulty that, because the. theoretical linguistics in , and was awarded the PhD degree in sociolinguistics by Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh, U.P. India in His major fields of study are theoretical linguistics, sociolinguistics, and language teaching (sub-area of applied linguistics).
Sociolinguistics refers to the way language is used in society. A dialect is a variety of language that is systematically different from other varieties of the same plombier-nemours.com dialects of a single language are mutually intelligible, but when the speakers can no longer understand each other, the dialects become languages.
This textbook was required for a ESL Sociolinguistics course.
It was a very basic guide and overview to the infield of Sociolinguistics and 5/5(1). Sociolinguistics has become an increasingly important and popular field of study, as certain cultures around the world expand their communication base and intergroup and interpersonal relations take on escalating significance.